Marge Schade

Marge Schade is pictured here in 2018 during a trip to revisit some of her childhood haunts in Texas. Schade, an iconic business leader and philanthropist in the Gila Valley, passed away of natural causes on April 20. She was 99.

Vance Bryce learned early in his tenure as Graham County Chamber of Commerce executive director that Marge Schade was not someone to be overlooked.

This was back in 2019, he said, just as he was getting started in the job. The GFWC Woman’s Club of Safford was holding a mixer that the chamber was supposed to attend and promote to its membership. Bryce said the chamber, which was in transition at the time, failed to show, and Marge was none too pleased about it.


Marge Schade, founder and CEO of Safford's Pepsi franchise, was grand marshal in the 2022 Fourth of July Parade in Safford. The occasion also happened to be her 99th birthday.

Reach Tom Bodus at or at (928) 424-6231.

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